Dizzee Rascal graces the cover of the new issue of NME. To celebrate his bonkers rocket-ride to mainstream glory, here are Dizzee’s sharpest quotes.
On success: “Three Number One hits in a row is astonishing. If that was my last major achievement, that wouldn’t be bad, you know what I mean.” (NME, September 2009). Pic: Dean Chalkley
On school: “I was disruptive, violent and disrespectful, but I was clever. I wasn’t a full-on psychopath… ’cause a rascal’s just being naughty, innit?” (FHM, July 2007). Pic: Dean Chalkley
On drugs: “I got the idea of selling parsley and thyme. It looked a bit like weed and kids don’t know no better, you get me? They kept coming back.” (FHM, July 2007). Pic: Guy Eppel
On being stabbed: “Six times… but I take it in my stride, man. It’s one of many violent things I’ve been through. My life’s about extremities, always has been.” (FHM, July 2007). Pic: Andy Fallon
On meeting Prince Harry: “[He] was joking around and being cheeky, so I told him, ‘If you weren’t royalty I’d have punched you in the face by now’.” (The Telegraph, 7 Aug 2009). Pic: Andrew Kendall
On David Cameron’s ‘Hug a Hoodie’ campaign: “It’s a bit condescending. And if you did hug a hoodie, they might shank ya!” (FHM July 2007). Pic: Andy Fallon
On modern hip-hop: “The whole scene is kind of taking it too seriously. Soon you’ll have to be a fuckin’ mass murderer before you can be a rapper.” (Giantstep.net, 2008).
On growing up: “I grew up and learnt to hold my own. My mum was doing two people’s jobs….I had to learn to be a man myself.” (The Guardian, September 12, 2003). Pic: James Quinton
On ‘Rock Band’: “I think its good man. What’s the difference between real guitars and ‘Rock Band’? We’re all trying to get to the same destination.” (NME, September 2009). Pic: Tom Oxley
On The Beatles: “They’re one of the greatest bands on the planet ever and its amazing and inspiring that their music still lives on in people’s hearts.” (NME, September 2009). Pic: PA Photos
On fame: “I can walk down the street and someone’s gonna recognise me. I’m a celebrity, aren’t I?” (NME, September 2009).
On thinking positive: “Anything you want in life… It’s easy to give up after a setback, but just keep pressing on with desire and love for what you do.” (www.leftlion.co.uk). Pic: Danny North
On Arctic Monkeys: “Working with the Monkeys at Glastonbury was amazing – 80,000 people… that isn’t something that happens all the time.” (www.mirror.co.uk, 2008). Pic: Tim Cochrane
On Obama: “It don’t matter what colour you are… I think a black man, purple man, Martian man can run the country whatever man.” (BBC Newsnight, 2008). Pic: Tom Oxley
On politics: “Politicians say what they say, you might get the odd genuine one – but I think people make the big difference.” (BBC Newsnight, 2008). Pic: Andy Fallon
On London: “It’s always gonna be a major part of me. There’s a lot of things you grow up with that you miss when you’re away, things like fat chips.” (musicOMH.com, February 2005). Pic: PA Photos
On Jacko: “Michael Jackson appearing as a hologram at his own tribute show would be amazing. That’s some futuristic iconic shit.” (NME, September 2009).
On work: “You might as well follow your heart, because nothing in life is easy and if it’s going to be hard, it might as well be what you really want.” (The Guardian, 26 July 2008). Pic: Tom Oxley
On his critics: “Some people think I’m bonkers, but I just think I’m free/Man I’m just living my life, there’s nothing crazy ’bout me.” (‘Bonkers,’ 2009). Pic: PA Photos